In a fervent declaration, revered American actor Tom Hanks, aged 66, has pledged to resist the trend of modernizing classic literature for fear of offending those reading it.
The actor was asked whether he endorsed the modification of famous works by authors such as Roald Dahl and Agatha Christie due to their potentially offensive content.
‘We’re all grown-ups here’ – Tom Hanks
Hanks expressed his belief that, as adults, readers should be allowed to understand the context in which these works were created.
In a pre-recorded interview with BBC Radio 4, Hanks said, “Well, I’m of the opinion that we’re all grown-ups here. And we understand the time and the place and when these things were written. And it’s not very hard at all to say: that doesn’t quite fly right now, does it?”
He advocated for individual discernment rather than having choices made on their behalf about what could be deemed offensive.
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Let each person decide what offends them and what doesn’t
Hanks asserted, “Let me decide what I am offended by and not offended by.”
Hanks’s comments were in the context of a discussion about his debut novel, “The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece.”
Puffin UK, the publisher of Dahl’s timeless collection, recently announced that they had paid heed to the ongoing debate about making content ‘woke-friendly.’
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Classic books being reworded to be ‘gender-neutral’
The publisher emphasized that there are genuine concerns regarding how to keep these stories relevant for newer generations. Certain offensive terms have been removed, and gender-neutral language has been incorporated.
A representative for the Roald Dahl Story Company recently stated, “We want to ensure that Roald Dahl’s wonderful stories and characters continue to be enjoyed by all children today.”
“When publishing new print runs of books written years ago, it’s not unusual to review the language used alongside updating other details, including a book’s cover and page layout.”
“Our guiding principle throughout has been to maintain the storylines, characters, and the irreverence, and sharp-edged spirit of the original text. Any changes made have been small and carefully considered.”
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Netflix acquired The Roald Dahl Story Company
The Roald Dahl Story Company, which Netflix now owns, was acquired in 2021 for a reported $1 billion and plans to use Dahl’s stories as a launchpad for “the creation of a unique universe across animated and live-action films and TV, publishing, games, immersive experiences, live theater, consumer products and more.”
Editors have combed over the works of Dahl and removed certain words and phrases, replacing them with more ‘woke-friendly’ content.
‘Fat’ has been replaced with ‘enormous’ and ‘Ugly’ with ‘Beastly’
Augustus Gloop is no longer ‘fat’ he’s now ‘enormous,’ while Mrs. Twit from The Twits is no longer ‘ugly,’ just ‘beastly.’
Some of the word changes make no sense.
The words ‘black’ and ‘white’ have been removed; the BFG no longer wears a black cloak, and characters no longer turn ‘white with fear.’
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